|Publication number||US7299726 B2|
|Application number||US 10/991,334|
|Publication date||Nov 27, 2007|
|Filing date||Nov 17, 2004|
|Priority date||Nov 21, 2003|
|Also published as||CN1618358A, CN100512690C, DE602004007087D1, DE602004007087T2, EP1532877A1, EP1532877B1, US20050126354|
|Publication number||10991334, 991334, US 7299726 B2, US 7299726B2, US-B2-7299726, US7299726 B2, US7299726B2|
|Inventors||Salvatore Rizzoli, Stefano Balotta, Fiorenzo Draghetti|
|Original Assignee||G.D Societa' Per Azioni|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (12), Classifications (33), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a method and unit for transversely cutting cigarette portions or similar on a filter assembly machine.
On a known filter assembly machine, first elongated members, each defined by a double cigarette portion, are each cut transversely by a first cutting unit into two single portions; the single portions are then parted axially, are separated by a double filter, and are connected to each other and to the filter by a gummed band to form a double cigarette, which is cut transversely at the filter by a second cutting unit into two single filter-tipped cigarettes.
At each cutting unit, the cigarette portions are supplied transversely (i.e. in a direction perpendicular to their longitudinal axis) by a conveyor drum fitted with a circular blade rotating at high speed. To ensure a clean cut at all times, each cutting unit is fitted with a sharpening device, e.g. of the type described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,497,143-A1, for maintaining a keen blade edge. In view of the high output speeds of modern filter assembly machines (as many as 20,000 cigarettes a minute), continual sharpening subjects the circular blades of the cutting units to severe wear, thus requiring frequent replacement. In particular, the circular blade of the first cutting unit wears out faster than that of the second, by cutting the cigarette portions at the tobacco, whereas the circular blade of the second cutting unit cuts the cigarette portions at the filter material, which on average is softer and more homogeneous than tobacco.
In a high-speed, last-generation filter assembly machine capable of producing up to 20,000 cigarettes a minute, the circular blade of the first cutting unit must be changed at the end of each shift, i.e. every 8 operating hours. And since this calls for skilled labour and involves a certain amount of downtime (5-10 minutes), the frequency with which the circular blade of the first cutting unit must be changed obviously increases cost, in terms of both labour and downtime production loss.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and unit for transversely cutting cigarette portions or similar on a filter assembly machine, designed to eliminate the aforementioned drawbacks, and which, at the same time are cheap and easy to implement.
According to the present invention, there is provided a method of transversely cutting cigarette portions or similar on a filter assembly machine; the method comprising feeding a cigarette portion transversely through a cutting station to intercept a circular blade rotating continuously about a first axis parallel to the cigarette portion; and the method being characterized by the circular blade being supported by an arm mounted to move between a work position, in which the circular blade cuts the cigarette portions; an unloading position facing a first store for worn circular blades, and in which the circular blade is unloaded by the arm; and a feed position facing a second store for new circular blades, and in which a new circular blade is withdrawn by the arm.
According to the present invention, there is provided a unit for transversely cutting cigarette portions or similar on a filter assembly machine; the unit comprising a rotary circular blade rotating continuously about a first axis and located at a cutting station, and a conveyor for transversely feeding a cigarette portion, positioned parallel to the first axis, through the cutting station to intercept the rotary circular blade; the unit being characterized by comprising a first store for worn circular blades; a second store for new circular blades; an arm supporting the circular blade; and actuating means for moving the arm between a work position, in which the circular blade cuts the cigarette portions, an unloading position facing the first store, and in which the circular blade is unloaded by the arm, and a feed position facing the second store, and in which a new circular blade is withdrawn by the arm.
A non-limiting embodiment of the present invention will be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
With reference to the accompanying drawings, number 1 indicates as a whole a cutting unit of a filter assembly machine (not shown). More specifically, cutting unit 1 provides for cutting cigarette portions 2, each of which has a longitudinal axis 3 of symmetry, and is fed transversely (i.e. in a direction crosswise to longitudinal axis 3 of symmetry) through a cutting station defined by cutting unit 1 and by a known conveyor drum 4.
Conveyor drum 4 rotates continuously about an axis 5 perpendicular to the
As shown in
As shown in
Gripping head 15 comprises a central pin 20 which engages a corresponding central hole 21 in circular blade 8 engaged by gripping head 15. Central pin 20 has a truncated-cone-shaped tip, so that it is self-centring with respect to hole 21, and is of such an axial length as not to engage the whole length of hole 21. Pin 20 is preferably fitted to cup-shaped body 16 to slide axially, in a direction parallel to axis 9 of circular blade 8 engaged by gripping head 15, from an extracted position (
At the work position, a fixed-position drive head 25 is mounted to rotate about an axis coincident with axis 9 of circular blade 8 in the work position, and is rotated by a known electric motor (not shown) to rotate circular blade 8. In the work position, gripping head 15 engages surface 17 of circular blade 8, while drive head 25 engages a surface 26 of circular blade 8, parallel to and opposite surface 17, so as to grip circular blade 8 between gripping head 15 and drive head 25.
In actual use, arm 13 is moved axially with a given force in a direction parallel to axis 9 of circular blade 8 in the work position, so as to grip circular blade 8 by said given force between drive head 25 and gripping head 15, and so ensure circular blade 8 is made angularly integral, by friction, with drive head 25 by which rotation is transmitted to circular blade 8. In actual use, gripping head 15, which is fitted idly to arm 13, is obviously also rotated by drive head 25.
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
Shaft 47 is fitted at one end with arm 13, and is fitted rigidly at the opposite end with a cup-shaped body 50 having an outer ring gear 51 which meshes with a pinion 52 integral with a shaft 53 of an electric motor 54. More specifically, the axial dimension of pinion 52 is greater than that of ring gear 51, so that pinion 52 and the ring gear continue to mesh even when shaft 47 is moved axially between said two limit positions.
A spring 55 is compressed between cup-shaped body 50 and frame 46 to keep shaft 47 in the withdrawn limit position with a given force. More specifically, spring 55 pushes cup-shaped body 50 against bearing 48 defining the stop member defining the withdrawn limit position; in which position, cup-shaped body 50 can be rotated about axis 14 by electric motor 54, and slide freely on bearing 48 with no noticeable friction.
An airtight chamber 56 is defined between shaft 47 and frame 46, is bounded by two elastic sealing rings 57, and is connectable to a pump 58 by an annular conduit 59 to be filled with pressurized fluid (typically compressed air) by which to exert thrust on shaft 47 in opposition to that of spring 55. In actual use, compressed air is fed into airtight chamber 56 both to lessen the thrust exerted on shaft 47 by spring 55, and to completely overcome the thrust exerted on shaft 47 by spring 55, so as to move the shaft from the withdrawn limit position to the extracted limit position.
One control unit 60 controls both electric motor 54, to control rotation of shaft 47 about axis 14, and a three-way valve 61 regulating annular conduit 59 to control axial displacement of shaft 47 in a direction parallel to axis 14. Three-way valve 61 provides for connecting airtight chamber 56 to pump 58, to increase the pressure inside airtight chamber 56; for isolating airtight chamber 56, to keep the pressure inside airtight chamber 56 constant; and for connecting airtight chamber 56 to the outside, to reduce the pressure inside airtight chamber 56.
Operation of cutting unit 1 will now be described, as of a normal operating condition in which a circular blade 8 is set to the work position to cut cigarette portions 2.
In the work position, circular blade 8 is gripped between gripping head 15 and drive head 25 with a force equal to the thrust exerted by spring 55, on account of airtight chamber 56, in this situation, being maintained at ambient pressure, and is rotated about its central axis 9 by drive head 25 as described previously. When the circular blade 8 in the work position wears out, drive head 25 is stopped, and airtight chamber 56 is filled with compressed air to move shaft 47, and therefore arm 13, axially from the withdrawn to the extracted position, and so detach the circular blade 8 carried by gripping head 15 from drive head 25. It is important to note that circular blade 8 is held on gripping head 15 by the magnetic attraction exerted by permanent magnets 18 of gripping head 15.
Arm 13 is then rotated about axis 14 to move gripping head 15 from the work position to the unloading position (
At this point, arm 13 is rotated about axis 14 to move gripping head 15 from the unloading position to the feed position (
Finally, arm 13 is rotated about axis 14 to move gripping head 15 fitted with the new circular blade 8 back into the work position.
In an alternative embodiment not shown, projections and/or depressions are formed on the wall 62 of cup-shaped body 50 mating with bearing 48, so that, in given angular positions, bearing 48 rests on the projections and/or depressions to produce small axial movements of cup-shaped body 50, and therefore of shaft 47, in a direction parallel to axis 14. This solution is particularly advantageous by permitting extremely accurate, small axial movements of shaft 47 in given angular positions of shaft 47.
As described above, cutting unit 1 provides for transversely cutting cigarette portions on a filter assembly machine, but may obviously also be used for cutting any other similar product, and in particular for cutting a portion of filter material.
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|U.S. Classification||83/13, 131/84.4, 83/481, 83/954, 483/59, 483/1, 483/30, 83/411.3, 483/54|
|International Classification||A24C5/28, B23Q3/157, B23D35/00, B26D7/26, B26D5/02, B26D1/22|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10T83/7747, Y10T83/04, Y10T83/6555, Y10T483/1733, Y10T483/179, Y10T483/10, Y10T483/1809, Y10S83/954, A24C5/28, B26D5/02, B26D7/2621, B23D35/008, B26D1/22|
|European Classification||B26D7/26B2, B23D35/00E, B26D5/02, B26D1/22, A24C5/28|
|Mar 14, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: G.D. SOCIETA PER AZIONI, ITALY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:RIZZOLI, SALVATORE;DRAGHETTI, FIORENZO;BALOTTA, STEFANO;REEL/FRAME:016365/0331
Effective date: 20050225
|Sep 6, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: G.D SOCIETA PER AZIONI, ITALY
Free format text: CORRECTIV;ASSIGNORS:RIZZOLI, SALVATORE;BALOTTA, STEFANO;DRAGHETTI, FIORENZO;REEL/FRAME:017944/0221
Effective date: 20050225
|May 27, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jul 10, 2015||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Nov 27, 2015||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Jan 19, 2016||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20151127